If you feel like you’ve made it through a particularly rough patch – or you can at least see the light at the end of the tunnel, then it’s time to incorporate some strategies that will further strengthen your rocky relationship. When things are still fragile, you need to tread carefully, but moving forward into more positive territory is possible. Here we look at some strategies you can use to retool your twosome.
Is it worth saving?
Sharon Rivkin, MA, MFT and the author of Breaking the Argument Cycle: How to Stop Fighting Without Therapy explains that a relationship is worth saving if despite getting off track, you and your partner still share the same core values. She adds that having a partner who is willing to put effort into the relationship is also a good sign. “If you’ve got a partner who is open to taking responsibility for their own issues you’ve got something to work with.” With that in mind, here are three strategies for rescuing your relationship.
Get it all out
The most important step you can take towards saving your relationship is to get everything you’ve been holding in for the past several days, weeks or months out into the open to be discussed. Holding onto residual resentment will make it impossible to move forward, so you both need to work towards being as honest with each other as possible. If you simply try to bury the issues that pulled you apart and hope things magically return to normal, you’re going to be in for a rude awakening. If you want to really rescue your relationship from a rough patch, you have to talk about what got you there in the first place.
Once you decide you want to save your relationship the next thing you need to do is look closely at what wasn’t working and figure out how to do things differently. Make a list of sticking points in your relationship or things that caused the most strife between you and your partner. Was it housework? Finances? Poor communication? Whatever the biggest issues were, find ways to handle them differently – in ways that ensure both of you are happy. Doing things the same way and expecting different results won’t get you anywhere – you’ll have to recalibrate your relationship if you want it to work.
Take it slow
Expecting things to change overnight will only make saving your relationship more difficult. The trick is to avoid putting too much pressure on yourself and your partner and give yourselves enough time to implement some of the positive changes you’ve discussed. Assuming that your relationship will immediately get back on the path to success can set you up for failure. Making a rocky relationship work can be tricky, so the best thing you can do is slow down, relax and allow for enough time to ensure you stay on track.